The 20-year-old couldn’t open her eyes after a day in the sun
A student who experienced “sun poisoning” has spoken about her terrifying ordeal and is urging others to become more aware of the dangers of the sun.
When 20-year-old Holly Barrington ventured to Tenerife for a short holiday with her father, she was hoping to catch some rays before returning to the UK.
However, the four-day trip was ruined when Holly wound up with a severe inflammatory reaction to the sun.
On the second day of the holiday, Holly, who’s currently studying biomedical science at the University of Salford in Manchester, hired a sun lounger so that she could make the most of the sunshine.
It was only when she returned to her hotel room later that day that she realised that something felt odd.
“I wore sun cream and didn’t burn but when I got back to the room and had a shower, I could feel my face starting to swell and felt really hot,” she said.
When she woke up the next day, Holly’s face had become so swollen that she wasn’t even able to open her eyes.
After screaming for her father, an emergency doctor was called to the room to assess the situation.
“The doctor [in Tenerife] told me the swelling could be due to ‘sun poisoning’ - which I had never heard of,” Holly said.
“Despite the fact I wore sun cream, I believed my eyes would be protected by my sunglasses but they must not have protected my eyes.”
Sun poisoning is a severe form of sunburn that can occur when an individual spends too much time in the sun, Healthline states.
It’s also known as polymorphic light eruption.
The doctor informed Holly and her father, Simon, that the swelling would go down and that it was safe for her to travel home as planned.
“I was told it was mainly cosmetic and allowed to fly home on the return trip,” Holly said.
“Everybody on the plane was staring at me, it was embarrassing but at least I was allowed to fly.
“I looked like a chipmunk on the flight back, I couldn’t believe what had happened.”
Holly’s face finally returned to its normal week after a week. She’s now urging others to be more careful when spending time in the sun.
“Everyone wants the ‘bikini’ picture in the sun but I didn’t know about sun poisoning and I will make sure I am protected next time,” she said.